Among the various departments in a typical company, HR is often the most underrated. Considered largely as administrative workers, HR professionals are seen to be conducting interviews, arranging appraisals, and paying salaries, among others.
What this perspective misses is the criticality of the HR role to the success of a company. In the course of a career in HR, professionals ensure the company has an adequate base and supply of dedicated, talented employees who are critical for business growth.
From handling only administrative tasks in an HR career, members of the HR team now serve as strategic partners in the growth of the organization, working to help it attain its goals. And only when the HR team does its job effectively and efficiently will these goals be realized.
Here are the top factors that make HR crucial to the success of a business:
- Recruiting the right people: Inefficient recruitment practices can cost significant time, effort, and money, besides bringing on board the wrong candidate for an open job. It is important for HR professionals to bring on board the best candidate for the opening while maintaining a strong brand image and not aiming just at finding the cheapest hire in the least time. A well-planned recruitment process covers onboarding and training, along with ensuring the employee is engaged at the workplace and is retained over the long run. The on-the-job performance and retention of new recruits areas or more critical than the time spent on and cost of hiring them.
- Engaging employees: A key concern is to keep employees engaged and fitting well with the company culture. An engaged employee exhibits strong work performance, motivation, and satisfaction with the tasks at hand. Such a person has good work relationships with colleagues and works to the best of his or her potential. The right engagement and recognition measures ensure that employees feel appreciated and valued, and even inputs from exiting employees can divulge areas of improvement.
- Strengthening company culture: This is another key responsibility in an HR career. The right impression of the workplace and its functioning from the start makes for a positive work environment. A good culture encourages employees to put in their best, rewards them for good work, helps them to improve and develop their capabilities, and seeks and recognizes their inputs. The right efforts from HR can strengthen the culture immeasurably and make the employer the top choice for potential applicants.
- Keeping employees satisfied: This is a tough-to-quantify task as part of a career in HR. With employee surveys, focus group discussions, and other means of tapping employee opinions and knowing their thoughts, the HR team can understand key areas of improvement and direct its efforts accordingly or make suggestions for the same to leadership. This boosts the morale and motivation of the workforce.
- Training and development (T&D): To ensure employees perform their duties properly, HR professionals must design and implement strong T&D programs. Every hire comes with some skills and qualifications, but a good T&D program can fill in the critical gaps and ensure that the particular task in the new job is discharged in the best possible way.
- Managing workforce costs: It is important for the HR team to curb excess costs of workforce hiring and management. Along with offering the right pay packages as per market trends and competitors, this would involve negotiating the best benefits offerings from third-party providers. This helps to hire and retain the best people while keeping a tight leash on expenses.
- Insights for business improvement: The HR team has the pulse of the workforce, and given how people are the most important resource, the team is best placed to suggest improvement areas with due weight and inputs from the perspective of the workforce.